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 Thursday, September 25, 2008
Point Topic Survey - mobile broadband has finally overtaken WiFi as the most popular mobile Internet access

The UK research firm Point Topic report in the results of their latest survey that mobile phone networks have finally overtaken WiFi hotspots as UK consumers' most popular way of accessing the Internet, whilst on the move. Point Topic’s recent survey of mobile broadband users shows that the UK mobile phone companies have managed to grow their market share to 47% of users accessing the Internet away from home or work, compared with 42% who prefer WiFi hotspots. One year earlier, the ratio was 40:30 in favour of WiFi.

Point Topic suggest that a year of heavy marketing of mobile broadband in the intensely competitive market is the main reason for the growth inmobile broadband's popularity, with five operators fighting for market share. Their research suggested that 26% or a quarter of those who use a mobile network to access the Internet are customers of O2, while Orange and Vodafone each take about a fifth or 20% of the market. T-Mobile and 3 have 14% and 12% respectively.

Mobile operators have a big size advantage over the WiFi service providers, who are relatively small and fragmented. But it is a lot cheaper to send data over WiFi and, unlike the mobile networks, WiFi has no problems with capacity. Point Topic predicts that "dual-mode operation, with mobile broadband users defaulting to WiFi where it’s available, will be the way of the future".

For more information, see here.